in the jingle jangle hindsight of ~20 years
Taking a rare moment (note to self: decrease rarity) to look back on ~15 years' worth of meandering career path, here are some of the topics i wish i'd gotten a better grounding in way earlier.
- statistics -- don't get me wrong, i took a lot of math including AP Calculus which i enjoyed -- but for the life of me i can't remember taking, or even being offered, a stats course in high school
- speech (to be forced out of that fear sooner)
- programming -- it was 1994, so no harm no foul; but it's truly inexcusable now. Should be a strong track in middle &/or high school imo. (and i did dabble in code and computers on my own all the same, but still.)
- time management -- i don't remember anything remotely like the "GTD" movement i'm fond of now back then. You wrote stuff down on paper and called people from telephones affixed to the wall.
- personal finance -- seriously. And not in college, either. Escaped all formal training without the slightest whiff of how to make a basic budget, much less a P&L. To be fair, I'm sure there were optional resources out there, especially at Smith... but truly i was clueless about their existence at the time (or the idea that such things were important, having not ever had to live on my own yet...)
- social psychology -- the half terrifying, half comforting idea that we're all inherently programmed to over-inflate our own importance and downplay our perceived genetic 'competitor's. And that all of society is psychology writ large, as interacts with existing conditions along an unpredictable timeline
- how to participate in a democracy -- like any seasoned developer, we assume everyone innately understands the byzantine web of roadblocks we've put up between them and their joyful use of our products. Not so. In similar fashion, i feel like no teacher feels like the onus lies with them -- maybe it should have been in history class, or in some series of mysteriously mumbled about special whole school sessions in the gymnasium. Neither Economics nor Government was offered in my high school as far as I can remember...and to this day I feel my grounding is weak
- macroeconomics -- i think maybe there was an econ class in high school but i didn't take it; it wasn't required, if there was one. In college i wasn't interested either, and feel like i missed out. Trying to catch up.